As I have noted before, Ward Stare (who completed his tenure as Resident Conductor of the symphony in 2012 and is now in demand as both and operatic and symphonic conductor) is someone to watch.
"Beautiful" isn't a word you often hear applied to the twelve-tone music of the Second Viennese School, but I can't think of a better one to describe the performance of Alban Berg's 1935 "Violin Concerto" by soloist James Ehnes and the symphony under David Robertson Friday morning.
Radu Lupu plays a genial and low-key Beethoven 4th piano concerto and David Robertson leads the orchestra in a lush Brahms “Symphony No. 2”, and it all starts with a Gemütlichkeit-filled cruise down the “Beautiful Blue Danube” of Johann Strauss, Jr. It must be another first-class evening with the St. Louis Symphony.
There are few things I love more than hearing a familiar work from the standard concert repertoire—one I’ve heard dozens of times in the past—performed in a way that makes it sound fresh and new. That, for me, is great music making.
The recent performance by the St. Louis Symphony of Brahms' monumental "Symphony No. 4" marked not just a performance event, but proved once again that the SLSO is perhaps the most cogent and vital music educator in our community.